Today, I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of Mothers of Preschoolers or MOPS for short. I really enjoyed it, and I would most definitely recommend this group to anyone with preschoolers! I spoke about chores, and I must say, in the chore system area, I’ve pretty much tried everything. But there are two systems that have really worked for my family. So I thought I’d share them here with you.
The first system is one I used when my kids were preschoolers. It’s from the website Homeschool Creations. I really liked it because it was simple for me and fun for them, plus it gave the option of extra paid chores. Click here for this system.
The second system is one I developed after my oldest came to me one day and said, “Mom, you never spend time with me.” After I got over the initial shock and rage of the comment (after all, I am a homeschooler…we spend every waking minute together for goodness sakes!), I evaluated our routine, and aside from school time, I really didn’t spend much extra time with them. A big reason for this was simply that the work load of having a larger family was taking a lot of my time. So, after some brainstorming, I figured out a system that would accomplish three things:
- To teach my kids to do everything needed to keep the house going
- To take some of the housework off me
- To spend quality time with each child while I’m getting a clean house
So here it is…the Mom’s Helper System. I simply put four hooks (one for each kid) on the closet door in our kitchen, and I hung the cards on the hooks. Every day that we are home, I rotate the cards. So, everyone gets to do every job. I really like this system too, because if we are gone one day, it’s no big deal…I just rotate the next day.
Click here for the files:
My laundry helper helps wash, dry, fold and put away all the clothes for the day. My kitchen helper (this is the most coveted position available) helps me decide what to make, prepare the food for each meal, and clean up after each meal. My Outdoor helper helps me keep the outside of the house clean by picking up trash, watering plants and putting up toys and bikes. Sometimes, this person also gets to pick out the new wreath and put out new décor or plant flowers in the springtime. The Bathroom helper gives all the surfaces a good wiping with a Clorox wipe, changes toilet paper, and cleans the toilet (as needed). My kids are still young and not very confident with these “bigger” chores yet, so I at least supervise, but usually I’m right there with them helping. That’s where the quality time comes in. While we’re up to our elbows cleaning the toilet, I’m talking to them and finding out what’s going on in their world.
One of the great benefits, however, is that after just a few weeks, these jobs can be done by the kids themselves (for the most part), so if I get in a pinch, I can easily say, “Isaac, go start lunch for everyone.” He will know what to do, because he has plenty of experience now.
I’ve also included a Living Room card. This person could do the dusting or picking up of the living room area. I’ve also included a Mom’s Helper and a blank card. These can be used just about any way. It’s up to you. This has been a really easy system to keep going. I know because if it’s not easy, I won’t do it!
I’m making these files available to you to download for free. I hope you enjoy them!